Many of the call outs were to proverbial ‘cat up a tree’ incidents, and rescuing cats made up around half the calls. A number had become trapped on a roof. The data does not reveal if they were hot tin ones.
Among the more bizarre incidents include a snake on the roof of the Regent’s Park mosque, a squirrel stuck in a satellite dish in Wandsworth and a budgie in Upper Norwood that had to be rescued from a ‘precarious position’.
The data for the financial years 2012-15 shows that while domestic pets including cats, dogs, rabbits and hamsters, make up most of the incidents the service is has also been involved in helping larger animals, including horses, ponies and cows. Wildlife has also been given a helping hand with trapped foxes saved and many birds freed from netting.
The London Fire Brigade estimates that animal rescues cost more than £150,000 a year and suggest that people first contact the RSPCA if they need help.
The data shows that a number of incidents involved the fire service subsequently being called in to assist RSPCA officers.